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Europe > Balkans > Albania > Northeastern Albania > Kukës

Kukës

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Kukës is a small town in northerneastern Albania, last one to the Kosovo border.

Understand[edit]

Kukës is the only town in the world that has been nominated for a a Nobel Peace Prize. Kukës received this honor in 2000 for receiving refugees in their hundreds of thousands from the Kosovo War.

Get in[edit]

From and to Tirana there are frequent though irregular furgons, basically a passenger transport van, and a few daily departures of an autobus (both furgon and autobus are 600 lek). Kukës is by the A1 highway connecting Pristina and Tirana so you can arrive by bus from that direction.

Kukës has an international airport which was cleared to service international flights in 2016, and talks are being held opening routes to Kukës.

Get around[edit]

Walkable city. Taxis are available taking Albanian Lek and Euro, but agree the price before you get in.

See[edit]

Majestic Gjallica and Kukës.
  • The Gjallica mountains to the east of Kukës, a local landmark visible from most parts of the city.
  • The reservoir on 3 sides of Kukës is clear turquoise in colour. The bridges are worth seeing too.

Do[edit]

  • The locals love to shoot pool in various local establishments found along the Rruga Xhamia off the main road.
  • Swimming in the reservoir in the summer heatwave days is the local way to cool off.
  • There are rafting opportunities to the south of Kukës in the Drin run.


Buy[edit]

  • Local Kukës produced raki kumbull (plum raki) and raki rrushi (grape raki) are good and available reasonably priced at the small supermarket beneath Bar Amerika on the street level.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • On Rruga Dituria there are various fast food restaurants offering among other things the local meatballs or roast chicken in buns and halal pizza.

Splurge[edit]

  • Kulla Lumes, SH23 (On the SH23 northwards from the city just before the bridge, on the right side, can't miss it.), +355 67 230 0196. Nice selection of seafood, grill foods from Albania and popular European cuisine, selection of wines and an excellent view of the reservoir lake. splurge.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • Hotel Gjallica, Rruga Dituria, Kukës (on main boulevard), +355 24222527, . The most luxurious hotel in Kukës with its own restaurant and terrace
  • Hotel Amerika, Lagjja Nr. 5, Kukes (At the corner of Rruga Dituria and Rruga Xhamia on the 2nd floor, near Albanian Post), +355 24 223278, . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 10:00.
  • Oda Kuksit Hotel, Rruga e Drinit Lagjia nr.4 (Take the first turn right from Rruga Xhamia (at the Western Union)), +355685757408. A family run hotel with a restaurant and terrace in the city center.

Residental hotels[edit]

  • Hotel Emili, Lagjja 1, Rruga Dy Drinat, +355686752685. You can book a month of resident living in Hotel Emili for around 300€. Weirdly, this hotel in the old industrial area of Kukes i ri has UK-style electric sockets so you need to bring an adapter to use European style plugs with them.

Connect[edit]

If arriving from Kosovo you could be interested in a Vodafone or ALBTelecom prepaid sim card with several gigabytes of data for around only around 1000 lek. There is a Vodafone shop near where the furgons arrive and depart.

Go next[edit]

  • Albanian Alps (main city of the area is Bajram Curri, the villages of Thethi, Valbonë and Kelmend are the main tourist destinations.).
  • Prizren (take the minibuses). Ottoman-era town in Kosovo with Albanian, Serbian and Byzantine heritage.
  • Gjakova (take the Bajram Curri bound minivans which pass by Gjakova). town in Kosovo with the largest Ottoman-era bazzar in the Balkans.
  • Pristina. capital of Kosovo.
  • Shkodra. Shkodra is the cultural center of northern Albania and Albanian Catholics.
  • Tirana. Capital of Albania.


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